Three Toasts, Three Fragmentary Songs

917 P. Berol. 270, B.K.T. v (2) (1907)

To the Muses

Reverent daughters
Who bring plentiful food
[For us to share] at the precincts and altars of the gods.

To The Easily Caught

Mix up a bowl of the Graces and
Promise me a wonderful story:
Announce that we will weave together
The numberless hymns of the Maidens with
Troy, her bodies torn down by spears,
And the night-sneaking spy caught
Among the prows of the ships remembered forever.

To Memory

Mother Muse with kind eyes,
Stay here beside the holy offspring of your children.
We are introducing an elaborate song just made,
overflowing with first-practiced skill.

Achelous’ drops have dampened our ship.
Stop rushing ahead, make the sail loose
Open up those linen wings and reach fast
For the sands worn down from stone.

Well done! Keep your eyes on the sea–
When you come near to land
Escape the south wind’s cruel, frightening madness.”

[ σεμν]αὶ] ι θυγάτ[ρ
[ἄ][τ] ῖτα φέρων[
[…]αμοι τεμένη Β[ωμοὶ .. θέ]ων

[ἐ]κέρασον Χαρίτων κρατῆ[ρ]᾿ ἐπ[ε]-
κρ[ π]ρό[ν]ε [λό]γον·
σήμαιν᾿ ὅτι Παρθένν
ἀπε[ί]ρο πλέξομεν ὕμνοις
[τ]ὰν δορὶ σώματα κειραμέναν Τρ[οί]αν
[τ]ὸν παρὰ ναυσὶν ἀειμνά[σ]τοις ἁλόντα
νυκτιβάταν κοπόν.

ὦ Μοῦ᾿ γανατε μᾶτερ,
συνίσπεο σῶν τέκνων [ἁγν]ῶ [όν]ωι·
ἄρτι βρύουσαν ἀοιδὰν
πρωτοπαγεῖ σοφίαι διαποικίλον ἐκφέρομεν·
[νῆά τ] τέγξαν Ἀχελώιου δρόσ[οι·]
[παῦε] παραπροϊών, ὑφίε όδα,
λῦ᾿ ανοῦ τέ, τάχος ἵεσο
λεπτολίθων [ψαμαθῶ]·
εὖ̣· καθόρα πέλαγος,
παρὰ γᾶν ἔκφευγε νότου χαλεπὰν
φοβερὰ[ν διαπο]ντοπλανῆ μνίαν.

Oil painting showing waves with whitecaps in the background, partial bits of sails in the foreground.
John Everett, “View From a Ship At Sea” late 19th Century

Leave a Reply